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Breakbulk April 2018

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4 The Journal of Commerce | April 2018 Editorial April 2018 Breakbulk and Project Cargo Executive Editor, The Journal of Commerce and JOC Events: Chris Brooks 609 649 2181, Executive Editor, The Journal of Commerce and Mark Szakonyi 202 872 1234, Managing Editor: Barbara Wyker 908 777 3217, Senior Editors: Joseph Bonney Breakbulk/Project Cargo, Gulf Coast 973 508 2417, William B. Cassidy Trucking and Domestic Transportation 202 872 1228, Bill Mongelluzzo West Coast 562 428 5999, Hugh Morley Northeast, Mexico 646 679 3475, Greg Knowler Europe Editor, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit +44 7976798770, Turloch Mooney Global Ports, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit +852 9011 9109, Associate Editor: Ari Ashe Southeast Ports, Intermodal Rail 202 548 7895, Web Editor: Joseph Lazzaro 917 309 0148, Data Analyst: Dustin Braden 646 679 3450, Senior Content Editor: Alessandra Gregory Barrett, 860 248 5238 Senior Designer: Sue Abt, 862 371 3534, Designer: Bryan Boyd, 908 910 7849, Publisher: Tony Stein, 770 295 8809, Sales: Cindy Cronin, Strategic Account Manager Southeast, Gulf, Canada sales, 954 551 8305 Zachary Gorman, Account Executive Northeast, Illinois sales 646 679 3466 Jean Gibbons, Senior Sales Executive West Coast, Midwest sales, 706 469 7160 Ria Van den Bogaert, Sales Representative Europe, Middle East sales, +32 2 569 8905 Alex Remstein, Associate Sales Specialist Reprints/Classifieds/Copyrights, 646 679 3418 For Magazine Subscription Customer Service: 450 West 33rd St., 5th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001 973 776 8660 • 800 952 3839 Managing Director, Media and Events, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit, Rhiannon James Senior Director, Content, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit, Peter Tirschwell Director, Media & Events, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit, Amy Middlebrook Manager, Production, Carmen Verenna Marketing Programs Manager, JOC, Jesse Case ©2018 The Journal of Commerce — All Rights Reserved For more information, visit our website, Joseph Bonney lighting the link between US steel imports and grain exports. The study noted that 47 million tons of grain were exported via the lower Mis- sissippi in 2016. It went on to warn that steel import restrictions would raise transportation costs, eliminat- ing jobs, and would have a "ripple e ect" on US agriculture. The direct impact on transpor- tation costs is apparent. If import restrictions curtail steel shipments on the inbound leg of a round-trip voyage, costs for shipping grain on the outbound leg will rise to uneco- nomic levels. Exports will be priced out of the market. But that's only half of a one-two punch for which US agriculture is bracing. Other countries already have warned that if the Trump tari s go forward as announced, they will retaliate by hitting US exports where they'll cause maximum pain. Agriculture looms as a near-cer- tain target. US producers of soy- beans, corn, and other agricultural commodities are among the world's most e cient, giving them com- petitive advantage. However, they operate in a global market where it's important to be viewed as a reliable supplier. Once that reputation is lost, it's di cult to regain. What's ironic is that the admin- istration's protectionist e ort comes just as the US and global economies are thriving. Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Markit, told the JOC's recent TPM Conference that a trade war could put the brakes on growth and produce "a disaster for us and our trading partners." Paraphrasing and reversing a stunning presidential tweet, Behravesh said, "Trade wars are not a good thing or easy to win. They are a terrible thing and impossible to win." US agricultural exporters would agree. HOW WILL PRESIDENT Trump's steel and aluminum tari s a ect breakbulk shipping? There's no better place to look than the lower Mississippi River. Steel and aluminum fi ll hundreds of inbound ships on the river each year. Many of these same vessels carry bulk grain on the outbound voyage. The story is similar on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, and at Pacifi c Northwest and other US port areas. The Port of New Orleans handled nearly 2.5 million tons of steel last year and more than 600,000 tons of aluminum. Most of the alumi- num went into local London Metals Exchange warehouses for storage and eventual delivery to customers. Some 80 percent of the steel was transferred to barges for delivery to points as far as several hundred miles upriver. Many of the barges that carry steel upriver are fi lled with bulk soybeans, corn, or other agricul- tural products on the southbound trip. Nearly 60 percent of US grain exports move through the lower Mississippi, primarily through export elevators in the Port of South Louisiana between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Last year, the American Institute for International Steel published a Martin & Associates study high- Tari s' collateral damage The direct impact on transportation costs is apparent. Exports will be priced out of the market.

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